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Buying a first electric guitar


(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

First off, apologies if I'm posting in the wrong forum - I um'd and ah'd about whether this should be in Opinions and Polls...

I'm going to buy my first electric guitar - hopefully quite soon. I've been playing an acoustic for about 10 months now. I'm in the fortunate position of taking up this hobby when I'm of an age where I can splash out a bit, rather than have to be completely budget-conscious. I'm also in the lucky position of living in London (UK that is, not Ontario or anywhere like that :D ) so I can get to the (in)famous Denmark Street.

So (warning - I have a feeling this is going quite rambly and maybe won't have a specific question at the end of it!) I've visited all the guitar shops along Denmark Street, and tried a few different styles of electric, to try and get a feel for what I wanted. From what I had previously read and imagined, I thought I'd want a crunchy rock effort like a Les Paul (copy!), but I surprised myself. I tried a Tokai, Hagstrom and some other not-heard-of-before LP copy and didn't really like them. What I really found myself liking were Fenders. Not all, mind.

The bad? A strat (Lonestar?) that I tried. I didn't get on with the neck profile at all.
The reasonable - a thinline Telecaster.
The pretty good - the Jazzmasters, and also a Classic Player Baja Tele. That latter had some great tones!

The outright winner, though? The CP Jaguar. The neck, for example, just felt "right". And the sounds I got out of it (random chords as any semblance of playing ability abandoned me in the store) were great too.

The downside with Denmark Street is definitely the prices though. Fortunately, I didn't buy one there and then, as it seems some out-of-town shops will supposedly sell the same item at about 2/3 of the cost. Unfortunately I didn't buy one there and then, as now I don't have one! And I haven't managed to make it to the out-of-town shops yet. Denmark Street, meanwhile, appear to have sold out of CP Jaguars!

I warned you there might not be a real question at the end! However, maybe I can give some other newbies advice - try, try and try again! Don't care about making an awful racket in the store because you can't play - although maybe try and take a more-skilled friend along to play something tuneful back at you :D

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

Yeah, trying and find a guitar that "fits" you is definitely trying but at least you are doing the right thing when buying one and trying every model you can get your hands on.

I've played the Jaguar a couple times in my guitar shop and it feels pretty good, but I'm not really an electric player all that much so someone else can steer you in the right direction, but I think that bringing someone is a good idea. Good luck on your search for the right guitar!

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

The bad? A strat (Lonestar?) that I tried. I didn't get on with the neck profile at all.
The reasonable - a thinline Telecaster.
The pretty good - the Jazzmasters, and also a Classic Player Baja Tele. That latter had some great tones!...

The Best?- You're trying out different guitars. That is well worth the effort. It is, afterall, something that you'll want to enjoy playing. Keep up the search. You may find the same guitar elsewhere.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@twistedlefty)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

Spend a little more than you can afford,
going the cheapest route often causes people to give up because of playability.
try them all,
start with the ones that give you the widest variety of tones.

#4491....


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(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

The Best?

Oh, that was the Jaguar.
Spend a little more than you can afford

Well, I'll modify that to spend a little more than you originally budgeted for otherwise I'll be buying the £9k Jaguar I found in vintageandrare
start with the ones that give you the widest variety of tones.

Yes, I think I agree - and certainly my more proficient shopping pal said the same. For that reason, I'm hoping to try and find a CP Jaguar HH - this has humbucker pickups instead of the usual Jag single coils, plus
Humbucker/Single-Coil Blend Controls

Oh, I forgot to add (some of) my reasons for wanting to be an electric...

- severe case of GAS :)
- I can practise more quietly than on my acoustic! (1 1/2 year old son who sleeps quite lightly to think of...!) That is, either practise unplugged, or into a Pod or headphone amp

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Buying a guitar is always very fun (or at lest it should be fun). The Baja Tele is a great guitar. I was considering to buy a Baja Tele some years ago, great tones and the switch adds a lot of tones more!


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

I was in Denmark St a few months back, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. High prices, mainly unhelpful staff, and not enough variation in instruments on offer given the impression I had of the place prior to going. I did like the acoustic-only shop though, where they have a that roped off section for the expensive guitars. Spent a fair bit of time getting down on a Godin and some Martins in there. And the vintage shop had a nice old Martin I grooved on too, very nice staff in that store. But mostly, I was unimpressed with what the shops had to offer. Disappointing really.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I was in Denmark St a few months back, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. High prices, mainly unhelpful staff, and not enough variation in instruments on offer given the impression I had of the place prior to going.

It seems the staff around there are notorious for being unhelpful. I've had some good experience... but some truly bad as well.
I did like the acoustic-only shop though, where they have a that roped off section for the expensive guitars. Spent a fair bit of time getting down on a Godin and some Martins in there.

They were one of the helpful shops when I shopped for my acoustic last summer.

Anyhow, I've taken the plunge; I found myself a humbucker-equipped Jaguar today! Unfortunately, I haven't managed to play it outside the shop, yet, as I'm still at work. Argh!

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Well, once you get home and give it a good test, let us know what you think.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

Well, once you get home and give it a good test, let us know what you think.

Well, I haven't really played it amped up yet at home, but as for playing unplugged, I'm picking it up a lot more than I was my acoustic :D So that means I'm getting more practise in, hurrah! I've even gone a bit mad and tried more barre chords than before (not very good at those ), and it is simply on this electric as expected.
Is it de rigueur to post pics of new guitars...?

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 118
 

Is it de rigueur to post pics of new guitars...?
I'd really like to have a squizz!

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I'd really like to have a squizz!

That might be the first time I've seen squizz written down :)

Here we are...

and a bit of a close-up:

And if by some miracle I've done that right, click on the photo to go the large version

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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(@grungesunset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 344
 

Gorgeous guitar. Love the Jags, have one myself. Congrats

"In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Nice guitar! I like it ...... you know, I don't have one of those. :? The cream humbuckers make it. Oh, and around here we like pics of guitars.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

Yup, it is GN law to post at least one pic of any new guitar/piece of gear you've bought if you mention it on the site. It should be GN law that you must post a sound file too, but it isn't. Yet.

Nice guitar. Like TR, I don't have one of those. I must add it to my wishlist, the cream pups are 'lish. But I like the whole thing, it's just begging to be played!

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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